What felonies can be expunged in Georgia?
Thanks to Georgia’s new expungement law, many people with a felony criminal record will now be eligible to remove their criminal record from public view.
In Georgia, we call the process of limiting access to criminal records “record restriction”. When you apply to restrict your record, you request that the arrest record be removed from public access. The next step is usually to seal your criminal case court record. That is the best way to keep other people – like employers and landlords – from seeing your criminal record.
Under the previous record restriction law, only non-convictions and misdemeanors for people who were convicted when they were under 21 were eligible for restriction. There were very limited other options. Under the new law, misdemeanor convictions are now eligible. Georgia will also allow people with felony convictions to restrict their conviction record for the first time. To be eligible, you must get the felony pardoned by the Board of Pardons and Paroles. Some charges are not eligible and there are limitations; see the full list below.
As before, non-convictions – cases that were dismissed, nolle processed, dead docketed, vacated or overturned, or handled under the First Offender Act or Conditional Discharge – can also be restricted and then sealed. So, if your felony charge did not end in conviction or you got First Offender or other special status, you can likely restrict it without going through the pardon process.
Were you eligible for First Offender for your felony but not offered it? A law passed in 20—allows you to go back and ask for First Offender Act status NOW. First Offender cases are NOT convictions, so First Offender status is more powerful than a pardon, restriction, or sealing. If you want to seek First Offender retroactively, contact us today. We highly recommend that you use an attorney for that process because of the requirements.
If you lost First Offender or were not eligible and have a felony conviction, you should consider applying for a pardon as soon as possible or, if you already have a pardon, applying for restriction and sealing today.
For felony convictions, here are the requirements for restriction:
- Successful completion of the sentence
- Conviction was pardoned by the Board of Pardons and Paroles
- No convictions since the Pardon was granted, aside from non-serious traffic offenses
- No pending charges
- Not convicted of the following:
- Murder or felony murder
- Armed robbery
- Aggravated child molestation
- Aggravated assault with intent to rape
- False imprisonment (victim under 14 and not your child)
- Statutory rape
- Child molestation
- Enticing a child for indecent purposes
- Sexual assault against persons in custody
- Sexual exploitation of children
Are you eligible for a pardon or felony restriction? Call us to get started on your case today!
- How do I get a copy of my official criminal record in Georgia?
- About Pardons in Georgia
- About Georgia’s new expungement law
DISCLAIMER: THE ABOVE STATEMENTS ARE GENERAL INFORMATION AND THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF YOUR CASE MAY BE DIFFERENT. DEVETTER LAW MAKES NO GUARANTEE OF ANY OUTCOME. THE ABOVE IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE AND NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP IS CREATED BY PROVIDING THIS INFORMATION.